Given the geomorphic evidence for the widespread occurrence of water and ice in the early Martian crust, and the difficulty involved in accounting for this distribution given the present climate, it has been suggested that the planet's early climate was originally more Earth-like, permitting the global emplacement of crustal H2O by direct precipitation as snow or rain. The resemblance of the Martian valley networks to terrestrial runoff channels and their almost exclusive occurrence in the planet's ancient (approximately 4-b.y.-old) heavily cratered terrain are often cited as evidence of just such a period. An alternative school of thought suggests that the early climate did not differ substantially from that of today. Advocates of this view find no compelling reason to invoke a warmer, wetter period to explain the origin of the valley networks. Rather, they cite evidence that the primary mechanism of valley formation was groundwater sapping, a process that does not require that surface water exists in equilibrium with the atmosphere. However, while sapping may successfully explain the origin of the small valleys, it fails to address how the crust was initially charged with ice as the climate evolved towards its present state. Therefore, given the uncertainty regarding the environmental conditions that prevailed on early Mars, the initial emplacement of ground ice is considered here from two perspectives: (1) the early climate started warm and wet, but gradually cooled with time, and (2) the early climate never differed substantially from that of today.